The Fragile Ones

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A carpeted hallway runs down the center of the house. Its walls are collaged with family photos in various frames. Shadow boxes take up most of one wall. On their misaligned shelves, a hodgepodge of miniature things rests. The only prerequisite is that they are precious, adorable, or even moribund: the skull of a baby squirrel or the perfectly shed skin of a grass snake.   On one of these lower shelves, in a clear, thumb-size vial rest a glob of liquid mercury. Yes, the kind found in old, glass thermometers. Perhaps the mercury had been collected by intentionally breaking a bundle of thermometers.   Obviously, a curious five-year-old child sees all of these tiny things as toys. There are lots of ‘No, no, no!’ … Read More

BrockaThe Fragile Ones